Nigeria’s Electricity Regulator Confirms Removal of Subsidy

Few days after Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed announced in a meeting of African finance ministers that Nigeria has removed its electricity subsidy, the nation’s electricity regulator has confirmed the claim.

National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced in a statement on Wednesday that subsidy has been removed on electricity but tariffs will be inspected every six months to see how workable they are.

Chairman of the commission, Sanusi Garba said in a statement that the commission’s role is basically to determine what rates consumers have to pay to get power supply.

Garba said electricity subsidy was not sustainable again considering how much investors were making.

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“The role of the commission is to make a determination of the rates that consumers should pay. So we strike a balance between consumers and investors,” he said.

“Now subsidy is a policy issue determined by the government. The government will decide that the rates calculated or agreed by the regulator may at this time not be passed on to consumers. It has happened many times,

“In the past four, five years the level of subsidy has gradually been reduced, because you cannot run the electricity market on life support and say that investors cannot get their return on investment until government steps in to provide the required funding.

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“So that policy decision (stopping electricity subsidy) is as announced by the Minister of Finance. The subsidies have been, at one time as high as N600 billion a year, and gradually coming down to about N30 billion or so this year.”

On changes in tariffs, he said there’ll be regular check to see if there’s a need to make a change considering foreign exchange and inflation.

“What happened on February 1, 2022, is a minor review of tariff. It is very clear on our website that every six months we will adjust rates to take care of the foreign exchange component of cost and also inflation,” the NERC chief said.

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